World Championship Rumors
Bogdan Bogdanovic was 10 years old and living in Belgrade, Serbia, and life was coming at him fast. He was torn between committing to soccer, the sport he refers to as “the real football,” or basketball, the beautiful game that led Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic across oceans, around the world, ultimately into the arms of the increasingly global NBA. Sixteen years later, the Kings rookie known as “Bogi” remembers where he was, what he was doing, what he was thinking, when lightning struck. “I was watching the final game of the World Championships in Indianapolis (in 2002),” Bogdanovic recalled, “and when we won that gold medal with Vlade and Peja, I said, ‘I decide. Let’s go basketball.’ That was an amazing moment for my country.”
In addition to his new title with the Heat, Battier was named last month to USA Basketball’s Junior National team selection committee. He played for the World Championship team in 2006 that won the bronze medal. “It’s a huge honor,” Battier said. “I take the responsibility very seriously to keep USA Basketball on top.”
FIBA on Sunday celebrated 1,000 days to go to the Basketball World Cup 2019 in China with a special event at Beijing’s Wukesong Culture & Sports Centre, where former China international and global icon Yao Ming was unveiled as the competition’s first ambassador. On hand for this milestone event were a number of distinguished guests, including China’s Vice Minister of Sports, Mr Gao Zhidan; the Vice Secretary General of Beijing Municipal Government, Mr Jiang Fan; members of the China 2019 Local Organising Committee (LOC), officials from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and representatives from the eight host cities as well as FIBA Partners. They were joined by FIBA Chief Operating Officer Markus Studer and FIBA Media and Marketing Services (FMMS) Director General Frank Leenders. Yao Ming – who achieved stardom by representing China’s national team at two FIBA Basketball World Cups and three Olympic Games, as well as by leading his country to three FIBA Asia Cup titles – spoke of the immense pride he feels in being an ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in his homeland.
“First off all Coach K and Gregg Popovich are two my favorites of all time,” James said. “To be able to play for Coach K in the Olympics and world championships and to be able to go against Coach Pop in the NBA, it would be a treat. Obviously my body has to continue to be in the form that it is today four years from now.”